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Leo I the Thracian coins Roman Imperial catalog

Emperor Flavius Valerius Leo I the Thracian (457-474)

Leo was born in Thrace or Dacia, which is not the same thing. :) The nickname "Makella" is also probably connected with the origin, it means "butcher". However, there is a version that it is connected with his cruelty. In general, as you can understand, not much is known about this emperor.

He was elevated to the Byzantine throne on February 7, 457 by Aspar, who was the closest to the throne under Emperor Markian. Leo at this time served as committeeman of one of the legions under Aspar and, according to some accounts, as administrator of his estates. Leo was the first emperor to be crowned by a patriarch. It is clear that in order to legitimize the establishment of an unknown candidate on the throne, it was necessary to reinforce him with the authority of the church.

It is clear that Aspar counted on the complete obedience of his protégé and at first it was so. But in the mid-60s, the emperor was already weary of tutelage. Conflicts began, most often over appointments of the highest dignitaries. In 466 Zeno, an Isaurian commander trusted by Leo, obtained evidence of Aspar's son Ardavurus's dealings with the Persians. Aspar had to disassociate himself from his son, but from that time his influence declined.

In 467 Leo succeeded in placing his protégé Anthemius on the throne of the Western Empire.

In 468, by the forces of both parts of the empire, an expedition to Africa took place, which, however, ended in a grandiose failure.

In 469 Aspar, still in the position of magister militum, organized an assassination attempt on Zeno, who was already the emperor's son-in-law. The attempt failed, but Zeno fled and the emperor, left without allies, was forced to marry his youngest daughter to Aspar's son Patricius, appointing him Caesar (that is, in fact, the heir).

Leo did not relent. In 471 Aspar and Ardavurus, who had been invited to the palace, were killed, and the forces of their henchmen dispersed the armies of Zeno and Basiliskos (the emperor's brother-in-law), who had entered Constantinople.

Theodoric intervened in this quarrel, demanding some "Aspar's inheritance", and having received a refusal he sent his Goths to devastate Thrace. In 473 peace was concluded, rather in favor of Theodoric - he was recognized as the supreme ruler of the Goths, received the title of magister militum and a large monetary payment.

On January 18, 474, Emperor Leo I died of dysentery at the age of 74.

 

 

coin Roman Empire Leo I the Thracian
D N LEO PERPET AVG
SALVS REPVBLICA

457-474
copper
Constantinople
18 mm.
Bust right in draped armor and diadem / Our Lord Leo Perfect Augustus
Leo standing right, holding standard and globe, foot on captive / Health of Republic
Value - $200-300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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